Well that hugelbed is two years old now and although the Mt. Laurals are still alive, they are not thriving. I think the problem I have with them is we can't afford to buy soil to cover the logs properly, so now there are gaps and I'm sure critters have helped with that problem too. The beds dry out and are tough to water them completely.
Last fall I made a hybrid huglebed for my blackberry plants, but this time I cemented rocks together to make the side walls then filled with dead oak trees, soil, compost and topped off with mulch. That bed was doing fine until last month when it really started to dry out and now I have to water it just to keep the berry plants alive. I'm hoping this winter to add more compost (have too because it's sinking) lave sand, and bio-char so that next year we get a real crop of berries.
In January I made a huglebed for my asparagus and it too is now showing signs of sinking and drying out. Same with my strawberry bed. I planted bush beans along the lower edges while the strawberry plants get established, and those beans went crazy with hardy any attention from me. But here we are in hot, dry August and that bed needs watering every other day to keep the berry plants alive in the heat.
So to sum it up, I'm on the fence about if using dead trees limbs actually helps lower the amount I have to water or not. It could be that because everything I planted did fine on it's own for so many months that I didn't keep a good enough eye on them once the summer heat hit and the rains stopped. Now that the soil is so dried out, it takes so much more to get it rehydrated.
Claudia Smith wrote:I am a Permie Wanna Be; to be clear, I don't know much about Permaculture. That said, I would appreciate advice and direction.
Eight years ago, I bought a little 10 acre place in Mariposa, California with the idea that I would someday retire there. Mariposa is next to Yosemite; we have a lot of granite. There is a corner I would like to convert into a garden, but it looks the same today as it did 8 years ago; it's solid granite. It's a triangular shape, roughly 100' x 100' x 100'. I wondered if it would be a good spot to put in a Hugelkultur based garden.
We have been in a drought, so we have plenty of dying of pines and oaks.
I would appreciate thoughts on what might be done on this spot.
Mariposa received ~30 inches of rain this year, so perhaps the drought will be less of an issue going forward.